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Former commission candidate, local developer fined by state ethics panel

ATLANTA - The State Ethics Commission Thursday fined a 2004 Gwinnett County Commission candidate and a Lawrenceville development company in separate cases involving last year's elections.

George Thorndyke, who was defeated by Commissioner Lorraine Green in the Republican primary that summer, and the Richardson Housing Group had signed consent agreements that the commission approved unanimously with little discussion.

A complaint filed against Thorndyke in July of last year alleged that he had failed to list his affiliations with three companies on the financial disclosure statement he filed at the beginning of 2004. State law requires that candidates' financial disclosures include any "fiduciary'' positions they hold.

A lawyer representing Thorndyke told the commission during a hearing last spring that when he filed his report, he believed his name had been removed from the board of directors of the Assigned Witness Program Inc., an organization that searches for missing children.

The lawyer added that Thorndyke's wife - without his permission - had listed him as chief financial officer of two companies she owned.

In the consent agreement, Thorndyke admitted guilt in exchange for a fine of $500, which he must pay out of his personal funds.

In the other case, officials from Richardson Housing Group notified the commission's staff in July after they became aware that they had inadvertently failed to report contributions to various Gwinnett candidates during the 2004 campaigns, commission Executive Secretary Teddy Lee said Thursday.

He said the company contributed $12,450 last year, including 15 donations of $101 or more, the legal threshold for filing campaign-contribution disclosure reports.

In exchange for its admission of guilt, the commission fined the company $1,490 and ordered it to pay $450 in late-filing fees.

No one representing either Thorndyke or Richardson Housing Group attended Thursday's meeting.